Should Fizdale be Fired?

Scott Butler, Writer

Knicks Coach David Fizdale appears to be in danger of losing his job. Fizdale is in his second season of a four year contract rumored to be worth $22 million. He had been considered one of the top free agent head coaches on the market when the Knicks signed him. He was in high demand, turning down an offer of approximately $20 million from the Phoenix Suns to come to New York. He had a reputation for befriending and developing players.  At the time, Knicks owner James Dolan called him “a bright and creative basketball mind” who was “the right coach to lead this team to the success our loyal fans deserve.”


That success hasn’t happened. Fizdale’s two season record as coach is 19-74 and the team is currently 2-9. They recently suffered an embarrassing loss to the Cavaliers and a loss to the Bulls after a fourth quarter meltdown.  After the Cavs loss, Knicks President Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry held an unprecedented impromptu press conference while Fizdale was still in the locker room talking to players. Usually the head coach is the first to speak to the media after a game so the move was seen as an effort to undermine Fizdale.  Mills talked about the team needing to “find a way to have a consistent level of effort and execution.” The unscheduled nature of the press conference and the comments led many to view this as an attempt to make Fizdale the scapegoat for the team’s poor performance. Fizdale spoke later and took full responsibility for the state of the team. He stated that he lives with a sense of urgency about bringing the team together.  Yet, he also said that he won’t “overreact to overreactors.” 


While many fans are screaming for Fizdale’s firing, his defenders point out that he’s a new coach and has many young players who need time to find their footing in the NBA.  Others acknowledge that it takes time to rebuild a team. The real question is, how much time is too much time?